School of the Arts Filmmakers Among Juried Award Winners at Tribeca

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The 15th annual Tribeca Film Festival, co-founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff, and presented by AT&T, announced the winners of its competition categories at an awards ceremony held on April 21st, 2016 in New York City. Twenty-eight Columbia filmmakers participated at the Tribeca Film Festival this year, with several winning top honors.
Yi Liu and Chieh Yang, both second-year students in the MFA Film Program, won the Student Visionary Award for their short film Ping Pong Coach (乒乓), a story of teenage lust written in Mandarin and set in Taiwan. The film, directed by Liu and written by Yang, was the students’ first collaboration, brought about as a part of the School of the Arts Film curriculum. Ping Pong Coach was selected from 74 nominated films for the $5,000 award. The jury noted that they honored the short “for its naturalistic tone and compelling performances -- this film impacted us in a real way."

The Fixer, a journalistic thriller written by Ian Olds ‘06 and Paul Felten ‘04, was also honored with the award for Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film for its lead Dominic Rains. The jury commented that it selected Rains “for his deeply emotional and empathic portrayal of a man who’s a stranger in a strange land.” Olds, among whose other credits are Occupation: Dreamland and the experimental narrative Francophrenia, also directed the film. It was edited by Joe Murphy ’08 and co-stars Writing Program alumnus James Franco ’11.

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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.